If the magazine you’re holding in your hands seems somehow different from the typical issue of Texas Monthly, lacking in a certain magic, well, it’s not just your imagination. This is the first issue in nearly fifteen years that doesn’t include the name Stacy Hollister on its masthead. The Dallas native and Ursuline Academy grad, who started here as an intern in 2002 and rose, with unnerving speed, to the role of managing editor and then director of editorial operations, has decided to move on to the next phase of her life, leaving behind a staff that, despite our collective dismay, will find a way to soldier on without her.
The first order of business? Telling the rest of the world what everyone here already knows: Stacy is the best.
From the moment she started working for us, we started working for her. She was a leader, and she led us—cheerfully and enthusiastically, but with a crack of the whip that would have made Zorro jealous. She kept us on schedule and on task in a way that the public never saw or knew, but everybody inside the magazine did. Truly one of the unsung heroes in the history of Texas Monthly.
—Editor Emeritus Evan Smith
Stacy has amazing judgment: anytime I’ve needed to think through a story draft, a headline, a cover decision, or a crazy project I was putting together, it’s Stacy I’ve gone to for a sanity check. The response I’ll miss most? “Oh, Rodemann.”
—Deputy editor Katharyn Rodemann
Stacy was the best managing editor I have ever worked with. She had the two most important qualities of the job in spades: unflappability and imagination. If something seemingly disastrous happened, there was no reason to panic, because Stacy always found a solution. If a story ran a little long and couldn’t possibly be cut by one more word (according to a distraught writer), she knew where the extra space was lurking. I never exchanged one cross word with her, and there were too many kind ones to count.
—Executive editor Mimi Swartz
When I walked in the first morning that Stacy wasn’t here and saw that empty office, I wanted to cry. I wondered, “If I had been a little better about meeting the deadline for my column, would she still be here?” I think that occurred to a lot of us. We were very naughty. And now she’s not here to clean up after us anymore. I am afraid we’ll have to do it ourselves.
—Executive editor Patricia Sharpe
Among the necessary skills of a great managing editor is the ability to see down the road. Stacy could see down it easy enough, and then she could see around the corner, over the bridge, through the town, and onto the interstate. She understood not just what the magazine needed to do in the next six months, but where it needed to go in six years. That takes vision.
—Editor emeritus Jake Silverstein
During my first deadline week as the magazine’s art director, we pulled an all-nighter, and at 6 a.m., Stacy and I were the only ones left in the office. “You wanna grab some breakfast, Tucker?”
she asked me. So we headed over to our beloved Las Manitas. I was feeling kind of bleary, and as I stepped onto Sixth Street, I suddenly felt a hand grab me and yank me back onto the sidewalk—as a city bus sped right over the very spot I had been standing on a fraction of a second before. Everybody at Texas Monthly owes Stacy something. But me? I owe her my life.
—Creative director T. J. Tucker
Stacy is short, shy, and redheaded, so inevitably someone gave her a placard with this line from Shakespeare: “And though she be but little, she is fierce,” which she hung in her office. Stacy is fierce, but she’s also gracious—even when dealing with certain dysfunctional personalities. Whenever I would complain about something, she’d pause for two seconds, then ask, “Have you considered becoming a hockey fan?” Because, of course, Stacy—who loves all sports—is a huge fan of hockey, the fiercest sport of all.
—Executive editor Michael Hall
The first time Stacy and I went on a work trip together we rented a car and set off for Dallas. But before we left the parking garage, we realized she couldn’t see over the steering wheel, which wasn’t adjustable, so I ended up having to do all of the driving. To her credit, she did offer to stop to get some pillows to sit on.
—Senior editor Jordan Breal
No problem was too complex for Stacy to solve. She could match writer to subject, improve a story with a single brilliant comment, or dash off a dazzling headline. She will be missed.
—Editor emeritus Brian D. Sweany
Stacy has a terrible poker face, which always made her my favorite person to watch during meetings.
—Executive editor Pamela Colloff
After I learned that Stacy is a Stevie Wonder fan, every time she sat near me in a meeting one of his songs would start playing in my head. Sometimes it was so loud I couldn’t hear what she was saying. Sometimes I would start singing and she’d sing along. One time we just sat in my office and played all the hits. It never got old, for me anyway.
—Digital media director Christiane Wartell